Carz Planet suspect linked to Portland BMW crash

Crime

Stephen John Albrich was arrested in Portland

Stephen John Albrich, seen in an undated photo, is suspected of stealing this Chevy Suburban from Carz Planet in Gladstone, December 6, 2019 (PPB/Carz Planet)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The man suspected of stealing at least one car from a Gladstone dealership may also be connected with a similar theft in Portland.

Stephen John Albrich was arrested by Portland police on November 30 after a BMW crashed into a tree at SE 44th and Raymond. Documents obtained by KOIN 6 News show Albrich allegedly stole the BMW from Thrifty Car Rental 5 days before.

The car rental manager told investigators a man — later identified as Albrich — came in and wanted to rent a special car for his wife for Thanksgiving. He chose the BMW and provided a credit card to pay for it.

But then he snatched the keys from the manager and drove off with the BMW. Investigators later found the credit card he provided belonged to a completely different person. Thrifty reported the car stolen on November 25.

When he crashed the car on November 30, a witness told police a silver Mercedes SUV came by and picked up the driver. Police spotted the Mercedes and found Albrich in the passenger seat, unable to get out because of a leg injury.

The 50-year-old was taken into custody and faces 5 charges: unauthorized use of a vehicle, possession of a stolen car, identity theft, failing to perform the duties of a driver and reckless endangerment.

Portland authorities contacted Gladstone police, who arrested Albrich for stealing a car from the Carz Planet dealership on November 22. In that theft, a Chevy Suburban was eventually found and returned.

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